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Anthony I. Jack, & Tim Shallice (2001). Introspective physicalism as an approach to the science of consciousness. Cognition, 79, 161-196. Ikejiri Yoshifumi 12, Dec., 2005. 1. What ’ s the Problem? 2. The Function of Consciousness 3. Type-C processes 4. Introspective Evidences

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Anthony I. Jack, & Tim Shallice (2001).

Introspective physicalism as an approach to the science of consciousness.

Cognition, 79, 161-196.

Ikejiri Yoshifumi

12, Dec., 2005

1. What’s the Problem?

2. The Function of Consciousness

3. Type-C processes4. Introspective Evidences

5. A Framework for Understanding Conscious


6. Argument Defending Physicalism


◆ What is the underlying mechanism and processes that

giving rise to conscious experiences?

What’s the Problem?

◆ How do we tackle this problem?

→ Biology as an example

→ To characterize the properties of consciousness

e.g. 1. Introspection as a method

2. NCC approach

◆ What is the function of consciousness?

The Function of Consciousness

◆ Why the function is unknown?

→ No clear agreement about what needs to be

explained – no coherent data

◆ How should we do anyway?

◆ “We are conscious of sth..” vs.

“We have consciously performed an action.”

e.g. 1. the processes underlying attentional selection

2. the control processes such as planning,

problem solving, inhibition of pre-potent

response, etc. in prefrontal cortex

Two Senses of Csns

◆ “Awareness is necessary for intentional action”


e.g. Jacoby Exclusion Task

Conceptual Linkage Between the Two Senses

◆ To be noted, this principle is just a working

hypothesis, the aim is to provide a thorough scientific

characterization of this principle in information-

processing terms.

1. To provide an account of how the principle should be

grounded in phenomenology

Three Ways to Make a Scientific Characterization

2. Providing precise specification of the relation between

perceptual awareness and intentional axn (in

information-processing terms)

3. Explain intentional axn in information-processing


◆ Introspective evidence is necessary to identify Type-C

processes, that can only operate on information

available for report and be recruited when tasks

involve intentional axn

How does Phenomenological Understanding be used?

◆ Is this a HOT model?

→ No. To be conscious of information,, it is sufficient

for any Type-C process to be effectively operating

on that information. Thus, subject need not making


◆ Type-C processes are processes that can only operate

effectively on information when normal subjects

report awareness of that information.

Type-C Processes

◆ The enable and the endow view

1. The process underlies conscious reflection

→ underlie the ability to categorize one’s own sates of


Pre-experimentally characterized Type-C processes

2. The process which underlies the ability to freely report

the identity of an unanticipated but known stimulus at

the time of presentation

→ It is the same process whatever type of stimulus

is being recognized


3. The process underlies the re-experiencing of a past

event held in memory

→ The process underlies checking the veridicality

of recalled information, or the planning of action

4. The process involved in encoding material into

episodic memory – the process that underlies the

ability to retrospectively report the identity of the

earlier stimulus in a free recall task

Experimentally characterized Type-C processes

5. The process of “exclusion” involved in the Jacoby

exclusion task

6. The process underlying the discounting of perceptual

fluency due to prior exposure of a stimulus

→ This process underlies the abolition of various

“perceptual fluency” effects, such as judgements of

familiarity, preference, perceptual clarity,

brightness and darkness

7. The process underlying the addition of stimuli to a

discriminatory response set

→ Jack’s paradigm – Incorporation of the stimulus

into the response set required conscious


◆ A basic assumption underlying the approach is: if on

some occasions subjects carry out a task in the

absence of awareness of particular information (e.g.

the identity of a masked word), then we conclude that

Type-C processes are not necessary for processing the

information in that manner (e.g. semantic priming)

Interim Summary

◆ Main problem: Mis-intepretation & difficult to gain

raw data

Introspective Evidence

◆ How to avoid?

→ Use introspective evidence to examine the self-

reflective subsystems – the processes responsible

for the “model’ subjects have for understanding

their mental states – and the effect these processes

have on thought and behavior

→ Use introspective evidence to distinguish between

mental states – by using the information that is made

available to reflective subsystems when subjects


However, it should be noted that we do not interpret

this information as information about our functional

states, rather, we use our won folk-psychological


We replace or refine the subject’s model by i) providing

a well specified model and ii) re-interpreting the subject’s reports in terms of a testable functional theory

◆ In sum, introspection could be done under these


1. relevant conscious states can be reliably elicited

by varying the stimulus and/or experimental


2. the introspective reports are closely related to

objective judgements

◆ High-level operation → Conscious processes

Informationally encapsulated processes → Non-

Conscsious processes

A Framework for Understanding Conscious Processes

◆ The Norman – Shallice model

◆ The model is concerned with action selection. It has

three levels:

1. Special purpose processing subsystems

2. Action and thought schemas

3. Supervisory Attentional System (SAS) – to cope

with non-routine situations

◆ The Super robot -- Rene

Argument Defending Physicalism

◆ If Rene’s self-reflective capacities are to be useful,

then its subjective concepts should map onto

functional distinctions between its cognitive states.

And we could use Rene’s introspective reports as a

guide to Rene’s functional organization, as well as

providing data on the operation of Rene’s self-

reflective subsystems.

Through experiencing “what it is like to” do well specified tasks, we may learn to relate our subjective understanding of our mental states to such objective specifications of those states.

  • Availability of information to multiple processes

  • Unity of perceptual experiences

  • iii) Non-determinism and non-locality

  • iv) Integration and differentiation of conscious state

◆ Legacy of Behaviorism

→ Introspection is not reliable

◆ Perception without awareness

e.g. blindsight

→ Introspection is a reliable method for assessing

the presence or absence of awareness

◆ Logothetis (binocular rivalry paradigm) –

Stimulus remains constant while the conscious

percept changes (IT & STS) → necessary

◆ Frith – Stimulus changes while conscious percept

remains constant → sufficient

◆ Processes occur in the absence of awareness

◆ Problems for NCC approach – function of csns

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